From September nine images and messages asking people to take action and help cut pollution caused by vehicle emissions will appear on the latest environmentally-friendly buses and poster sites as part of a Bath & North East Somerset Council campaign.
In Bath and North East Somerset more than 12,000 people suffer from asthma, a condition made worse by high levels of air pollution, and last year alone there were 28 emergency hospital admissions in under 19-year-olds due to asthma attacks.
Diesel and older petrol vehicles are the biggest contributors to NO2pollution in Bath and high levels have been found to make existing heart and lung conditions worse.
Research also links exhaust emissions to the increased possibility of heart attack, dementia and reduced lung development in children.
Councillor Bob Goodman, cabinet member for neighbourhood and development, said: “You often can’t see it or smell it but there are areas of Bath and North East Somerset that suffer from unacceptable levels of air pollution caused by exhaust emissions. We want to bring clean air to Bath for the sake of our own and future generations’ health. The aim of the campaign is to make us all aware that we can help cut pollution by changing our travel habits. Lots of people making small changes can have a positive impact on air quality.”
People can cut their NO2 contribution by:
- Reducing the number of trips they make when other alternatives are available
- Turning their engine off while waiting
- Consider a lower-emission vehicle
- Using public transport, walking and cycling
- Using the park & ride
Bath & North East Somerset Council is currently encouraging more sustainable transport and travel, monitoring roadside emissions, declaring air quality management areas in Temple Cloud and Farrington Gurney and planning a Clean Air Charging Zone (CAZ) for central Bath which has some of the highest levels of NO2 pollution in the area.
A Clean Air Charging Zone means drivers of certain vehicles will have to pay a daily fee to drive in central Bath. This is necessary in order to see a reduction in pollution levels in the city by 2021 at the latest with the knock-on effect of improved air quality across the wider area. A decision about the CAZ will be made in December.
Councillor Mark Shelford, cabinet member for transport and environment, said: “It is everyone’s responsibility to take action and we are asking people to think twice about jumping in their car when they could walk, scoot or cycle. We’re asking people to use public transport and also to seriously consider going low emission when they buy their next car, van or lorry. This is not just a local problem, air pollution is hitting the national headlines most days now and we all have a responsibility to take action.”
For more information about helping reduce NO2 go to www.bathnes.gov.uk/CleanAir4Bath or join the conversation using #CleanAir4Bath. The website has tips and support on sustainable ways to get around and how to help your own health and reduce exposure to air pollution.